October 21, 2021

‘I would be surprised’ – Klopp expects Gomez to miss rest of season as Liverpool boss targets centre-back signing

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The 23-year-old has not featured since damaging his knee in November, with the Reds manager admitting he is still ‘far away’ from a return

Jurgen Klopp has admitted it would be a surprise if Joe Gomez can play again this season, as the Liverpool boss looks to make a late January signing to alleviate the club’s defensive crisis.

Gomez has not featured since suffering a serious knee injury during a training session with England back in November, with Klopp revealing on Friday that the 23-year-old was still “far away” from a return to action.

“Joe Gomez is actually in a pretty good place, but far away from being back,” Klopp told reporters. “So he walks round, looks completely normal, is not yet out on the pitch running, or even out of the gym. It’s just a really tough injury as well. 

“Will he be available this season? When does the season end, May? It will be close at least I would say. I don’t expect … well, I would be positive surprised if he would be back this season, to be honest.”

Klopp had revealed earlier that Liverpool will look to bring in a new centre-back ahead of Monday’s transfer deadline, with the Reds awaiting news about the ankle injury suffered by Joel Matip during the win over Tottenham on Thursday.

With Fabinho also set to miss Sunday’s trip to West Ham and likely the home game with Brighton on Wednesday, and with Virgil van Dijk, like Gomez, sidelined with a long-term knee injury, the need for a new defender is clear.

A host of names, naturally, have been linked, though Klopp has admitted it will be difficult to find the ideal solution so quickly, in terms of both cost and playing style.

“In an ideal world, it would be that the short-term solution is the long-term solution as well,” he said. “Wow, that would be great! I don’t know if we can do that, but we will see.

“You know the situation with centre-halves out there. You know the clubs where the centre-halves are playing. You know the clubs where they are obviously interesting because everyone is talking about them. Tell me if one of these clubs needs the money and needs to sell a player?

“And if they need money then they want crazy money! I don’t understand it. As a football fan you can sit at home and think, ‘they have to do something’. But that’s not how it works.

“We see the situation. We lost probably two of the best centre-halves in the whole market in a period of six or seven weeks. For the whole season. That’s massive. And then you have to find solutions in that moment.

“The winter transfer market opens and everyone says, ‘now you can do something’. We try. We see the situation. We don’t close our eyes. But while we are doing that we have to find solutions and play football and that is what we do.

“We have played some good football, maybe some less [good] football too. To play your best season you need to be lucky. You need luck with injuries. For us the situation is like this. We are not lucky in these moments but still everyone expects us to play our best season.

“That’s OK, but we also have to find the solution to win the next football game and make the season as special as possible. That is what we try to do.”